tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC April 8, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT
terms in the u.s. house and never lost an election. donald trump lost the only re-election campaign he has ever been in. that is our broadcast for this wednesday night with our thanks for being with us. on behalf of all of my colleagues on the networks of nbc news, good night. e networks nbc news, good night tonight on "all in. >> these new jim crow laws are just antithetical to who we are. >> the backlash the big lie continues as republicans give up the game. >> so think about all the local college university students now who will automatically be registered to vote. you've gotre an uninformed citin who may not be prepared and ready to vote. >> tonight how everything old is new again down south. >> this bill hr-1 threatens the constitutional sovereignty of the state of south carolina. >> then new calls for a january 6th commission as reports of
plea deals surface and the attempt to launder an insurrection continues. >> they wandered freely through the capitol like it was their building or something. plus congresswoman katy porter on the jaw-dropping new trumppo fund-raising scam. and who needs a xwlankt pardon when you can have a disgraced twice impeached character witness? >> thee denial was not only a denial. it was a very firm denial. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes. more than six decades ago the flagship publication of the american right "the national ti review" published an editorial in defense of southern segregationists. the legendary william f. buckley founder of the review, argued why the south must prevail. writing that the white community in the south is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail politically and culturally in areas in which it does not predominate numerically because for the time being it is the advanced race.
that was 1957. jim crow obviously was alive and well. now fast forward 64 years. we have a new raft of voter suppression laws springing up across the prcountry. and the flagship of the american right is now chastising anyone who would dare make the comparison to jim crow. rich lowry the current editor of the national review writing thaa anyone using the jim crow charge as a political weapon should hang his head in shame. now, to concede the obvious point here, and i will readily concede it, the attack on voting rights we are seeing now is not exactly the samets as jim crow. right? in the jim crow era the south was a totalitarian one-party state-p backed by consistent vigilante violence. and many of the laws we have now were not yet on the books. there was a different supreme court and understanding of supreme court precedent. so yes, what is happening now is not jim crow literally. but the historical parallels, well, they're p pretty
illuminating nonetheless. as jamel bowie points out in the "new york times" a lot of people had misconceptions about the voting laws during jim crow. the laws that disenfranchised black americans in the south and established jim crow did not actually say they were disenfranchising black americans and cathy a one-party racist state. it's true. when we think about jimon crow, this is what springs to mind.pr we usually think of these images, right? segregated water fountains and bathrooms that said whatgr they were doing explicitly. whites only. restaurants and businesses. segregation that was clear and obvious on its face. voting laws, however, did not workdi that way. this is really important to remember.mb right? because we had the 15th amendment. the right to vote enshrined in it. paid with the blood of hundreds of thousands of union soldiers and freed slaves. right? so it was illegal and unconstitutional in the constitution to deny the right to vote based on race. so the whole decades-long regime of jim crow and voting rights was coming up with regulations
that were race neutral on their face. as jamel bowie explains there was no statute that said black people cannot vote. instead southern lawmakers spun a web of restrictions and regulations meant to catch most blacks as well as many whites and keep them out a of the electorate. that's been the entire cat and mouse game to stop multiracial democracy in this country for over ade century. for a majority of the time it has been a non-slave country, right? since the civil war. the majority of the time there were these rules in place. this is what tlookd like on the actual front lines of the voting rights fight in 1965 in selma, alabama. >> the dallas county courthouse steps became a dramatic stage as prospective voters lined up for the registrar's office inside. the key actor was sheriff jim clark. >> you move back to the sidewalk. >> more than half of dallas county citizens were black.
but less than 1% were registered by 1965. throughout much of the south custom and law had long prevented blacks from registering. in selma the registrar's office was open only two days a month. registrars would arrive late, leave early and take long lunch hours. few blacks who lined up would get in. and getting in was no guarantee of being registered. >> oh, no no no. the office is just closed todaye ma'am. registrar is not here. it hasma nothing to do with rac oh, we just took some drop boxes out of your neighborhood. nothing about race here. that's a clip from the amazing, the legendary pbs documentary "eyes on the pbprize," which i recommend everybody watch if you can. and you can see why this is a problem and why in 1965 with a lot of pressure and blood and sweat andoo tears and protests e federal government had to step in with the voting rights act. now, the voting rights act had a few brilliant provisions, one being if certain states or localities or districts not restricted to the south, we should note, with a history of discriminatory practices wanted
to change their voting procedures they had to go through a process called preclearance. the justice department would evaluate whether the proposed a harmless change or whether it was just another one of the old tricks that had ruled forat so many years. the key innovation there was that they were concerned with what the effect of the law would be. theof disparate impact. so nodi one could say, oh, wow, closing o the registrar office early hurts all the black folks who work until 5:00? who would have guessed? we were just -- we wanted the registrar's office to be closed early because it saved money, you see. now, conservatives gutted precisely that provision of the voting rights act.rv right? back in 2013 conservative supreme court justice john roberts famously writing things have changed dramatically in the south and throwing out the preclearance requirement. at least the formula for it. telling congress to come up wite a better formula for which areas should be covered by it. now, republicans since then have shown zero, zero interest in
doing, that even though they're in congress, they could take it up if they wanted to. and so what it means is that court decision has set off nearly a decade of attempts to suppress the vote, bat new zealand state after state as republicans get back to, well, let's say new tricks. here we are in the year 2021. the republican governor of south carolina -- the state i should note for just historical accuracy of theus nullification crisis and fort sumter. is arguing against another federal bill, hr-1, that would protect and restore voting rights. >> this bill hr-1 threatens the constitutional sovereignty of the state of south carolina. those are not just words. that's very important. this country, our state is built on the sovereignty of the states. this bill takes that away. >> the sovereignty of the states. our country is built on the sovereignty of the states. it's a claim you've heard before
throughout american chistory, right? a federal voting rights law would have an egregious affront to the sovereignty of the states, s particularly the sovereignty of the great state of south carolina. how can anyone listen to governor hen i. mcmaster braying about the indignity of the federal government coming into hisl state to preserve equitab access to the ballot and think this has anything at all to do with jim crow? ilya shapiro is the vice president and director of the robert a. levy center for constitutional studies at libertariancrato institute. and wrote about what he called thean outrageous double standar of the backlash to the georgia's law in the national review. to have you on. i want to start with some historical conceptual level setting. i think you and i would agree on a few basic things. one is that clearly it is the case that as a conceptual matter one could devise a facially race-neutral voting change that actually is designed to or has an effect that's disproportionate racially, right? >> sure. particularly if you have legislators saying i want to make sure that democrats don't
vote or i want to make sure that racial minorities don't vote. if you have evidence of that kind of intent and you're harming only areas that are predominantly democrat or minority, that's suspect. >> right. but i guess that's interesting you introduced the point of intent because to me, you know, in some cases if you go through the historical record, particularly in jim crow laws, you do catch legislators saying things like the goal of this law is to restore white supremacy to the state. that's an actual quote i think from a felon disenfranchisement debate back in those days. but in a lot of times they don't say that, right? because they are aware of the 15th amendment. so they say things like no, no, no, we just want to protect ballot integrity. so in a historical sense it's also just a historical matter that people have used facially race-neutral changes in the project of keeping particularly black peoplepr away from the polls. >> well, to the extent that whatever voter reforms in the last decade or so since shelby
county or otherwise are meant to suppress votes, they've done a tremendously bad job. voter turnout has increased. mississippi and georgia have higher black turnout rates than white turnout rates. after voter i.d. was introduced, whether it's in places like indiana or georgia or tennessee, people came out more to vote including blacks. so i mean, you can talk about voter suppression but it's just as much of a myth as republicans going around talking about voter fraud all over the place. >> well, that's not true, right? i mean, first of all, we know that there are disparate impacts to things like in the state of georgia. right? so we know that black voters -- >> i'm not sure. >> well, we know that black voters, for instance, wait on longer lines than white voters. we know that -- >> okay. it's not good to have long lines, which is why the georgia law says if a precinct has too long lines you have to create more opportunities next time. >> but wait a second. if we say that you've got 51 minutes on average for black voters versus 7 minutes for white voters, right? now, you can say hey, look at this, when all was said and done
that black voters voted at a higher rate. which again, that's great. this is data that we got from jonathan rodden who did a great study of this. but it's still the case that like you are taxing people. so if people manage to overcome that, well, that's good. you and i agree. but you shouldn't have a disparate time tax on people like that, right? >> but chris, you know who sets up polling places? it's counties. and democratic -- overwhelmingly democratic counties are places where a high percentage of the black vote is in georgia and elsewhere. so for whatever reason they should create an f incentive, ty should have the counties do more and the state is trying to do that by expanding opportunities for early voting, for absentee voting. in fact in georgia there is more of that opportunity than places like new york or delaware. >> right. of course. but -- well, the direction of the change matters. here's my question to you about georgia, which is a law that you've defended and you think it's crazy that anyone's reading too much into this. my question with this and the
thing -- the laws in iowa and texas is what is the problem you're solving. if you come to me and say we're now going to change the ballot matching, the signature matching we have on the ballots with the voter i.d. t and ilya shapiro a others say that's perfectly fine, that's race neutral, why does that matter, my question to you is what's the problem you're solving? whye are you doing that? what was the problem -- >> are you t honestly -- chris, come on. you're doing a disservice to your viewers by saying that signature matching is somehow more accurate or less susceptible to suppressing votes that the officials don't like than matching up by computer the social security number, the driver's license, all of these things that blacks have at the same rights that whites do. in fact states like colorado -- >> wait a second. >> -- where major league baseball moved its all-star game has even more of that stuff where they have all mail-in ballots and they have even more of that kind of ballot integritt measures. look, chris, we can agree on so many things, especially you that want to make it s easy to vote d hard to cheat and you want to increase public confidence in elections.
>> that -- >> in georgia there is than confidence on either the left or the right and that is why this law was passed. >> but that public confidence, that's theic crux of it here, right? because what you just articulated, which is the rationale that many georgian republicans have articulated, is that you have to restore confidence. but again, we all live in the world. we read the e news. we understand the context here. right? thee context of that confidenc particularly on, say, ballot matching, signature matching, is that the president of the united states, the most powerful man in the worldis formerly and the leader of the republican party, waged a campaign to say that the ballot matching specifically was fraudulent, that there were many fraudulenthe votes, the fraudult votes were particularly coming from p black counties predominantly places like fulton and gwinnett and other places. that's what is causing the law. so to turn around and say, well, why would you people think they're up to no good after we just watched this strikes me as ridiculous. >> even donald trump makes accurate statements from time to time. signatureim matching is a sham science. and i'm glads that they're movg to something more exact and precise and objective rather
than is your curly cue matching whatever you were writing ten years ago when youat were a younger person in a different body. >> but there's no evidence that there's a problem with it. there's no evidence. likee' again -- >> but -- >> it's a solution in terms of a problem that is happening after this massive, massive dislocation. >> neither systemic voter suppression nor systemic voter fraud but we introduce certain measures to increase public confidence. the greatest argument for voter i.d. which is hugely popular including among non-whites, includingon among democrats, including in georgia isn't that it prevents fraud but that it at increases public confidence in the election. >> the logic of that is that it would be tremendous public confidence for republicans in georgia if you said only republicans could win.ou and that's the dog that we're chasing here.'s ilya shapiro, who's devoted 15 years of his life to working on these issues. you should read what he has to write. thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> in mississippi the top election officials, the secretary of the state, is warning of a grave threat that may emerge from expanding voter registration. woke college students. >> so think about all these woke
college university students now who will automatically be registered to vote, whether they wanted to or not. again, if they didn't know to opt out, they would be automatically registered to vote. and then they receive this mail-in ballot that they didn't even probably know was coming because they didn't know they registered to vote. you've got an uninformed citizen who may not be prepared and ready to vote, automatically is forced on them and they don't make a choice and the country's going to pay for a those choice. >> i want to bring in derek johnson, president and ceo of the naacp. mr. johnson, you're shaking your head at that. there's been a number of conservatives recently and ilya's not among them, but there are others who have basically just come out and said look, we don't want everyone voting. we want to make sure that some people don't vote, whether that's woke college students or african-americans or people that we think don't have thehets rig credentials. what's your response to people articulating that view explicitly? >> i think you said it correctly. this is a solution searching for a problem. i live in mississippi.
the reason why you have a higher black turnout is because there's aggressive organizing to overcome the barriers. the reason why you have a higher black turnout in georgia is because of the groups g like stacey that have organized to overcome the barriers. there are no issues here to be solved. if section 5 of the voting rights was in place, none of this could even be possible. if anything we have to make sure we open up access to the elections. it's unfathomable to think they are constantly trying to compare georgia to other states.th we talk about georgia, a state with a long history of suppressing votes. and the worst thing that happened in their mind is the outcome of the november election, the outcome of the runoff election was different than anybody expected because people overcame the barriers that were in front of them. >> yourf point there about the voting rights act and its gutting i think is important to stress here. part of the reason we've been having these political fights so
often that now has the major league baseball moving to denve is precisely because all of this used to be handled by folks at the justice department who without fear or favor as civil servants would look at it and make a determination. joe biden's justice department made ae determination the geora law, the mississippi law was fine and not have a racial disparate impact, then they'd go ahead and we wouldn't have this huge controversy. >> that's correct.hi i mean, this is not about intent. this is about impact.t this is about the t outcome. and we fought for so many years to ensure that voting was made accessible to all citizens but particularly african-americans. and what we're witnessing in georgia and what i just heard from the governor in south carolina is old school dog whistle politics of states' rights coupled with a modern-day trend to try to shape the voter or the electorate to meet the need of theat elected officialss opposed to the elected officials trying to win over voters.
the republican party, conservatives need to understand the policies they have in place are failed policies. they have yet to enlarge the tent to attract more people. so as posed to do what's logical when you have a political system that's evolving sow attract more voters, they're trying to downsize the system so you can limit access. that's not consistent with our constitution o and that's not where we should be in this nation. >> i guess the question is how much federal intervention matters? the sound we played from the governor of south carolina mcmaster is hr-1 and their different substantive critiques peopleff might have of differen portions of that bill which is quite expansive in many ways, it's got a bunch of stuff in it. but the sort of basic idea of the voting acts right of 1965 was to create this sort of floor and as it's been gutted that's sort of the idea behind hr-1. and i wonder as someone who's froman mississippi and done a l of work in a d bunch of differe states like how important
federal intervention is here. >> i it's huge. i think we've come to a point in this nation that we need to create a common floor of expectation across all jurisdictions, across every county to have certain xngss, that we have c a number of precincts accessible to a proportion of voters in that county, that we have the number each one of those precincts, that we open up voting so we're not doing it on a workday in the middle of the week, that we have to run several tdays, and in fact we need to make sure that every eligible voter can actually cast a ballot. open up the spigot to allow people who are rightfully entitled to vote, allow them to vote. >> derrick , johnson, ceo of th naacp, thank you very much for making time tonight. >> thank you. three months later still a lot we don't know about the january 6th insurrection. now former national security military and elected officials areed calling formally for a
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wanted to make donald trump look bad were to blame. a little inconsistency between those two views. but never mind. this is all helped by the steady stream of disinformation and weird apologizing for the criminals who took part in the insurrection on trump tv. >> this is the day that we pause to remember the white supremacist qanon insurrection that came so very close to toppling our government and ending this democracy forever. a mob of older people from unfashionable zip codes somehow made it all the way to washington, d.c. probably by bus. they wandered freely through the capitol like it was their building or something. they didn't have guns, but a lot of them had extremely dangerous ideas. they talked about the constitution and something called their rights. neither lisa eisenhart nor her son damaged any property at the capitol or committed any violence. they just walked in to what we used to refer to as the people's house. these are people whose crime was trespassing in the capitol. we're not endoring that but some perspective please. >> yeah. these are just people walking through the capitol, right? we all remember that's what
happened. it should not have to be said but apparently does. the insurrection was in fact dangerous and violent. like when insurrectionists crushed this d.c. police officer against a door as he screamed in agony or when someone threw a fire extinguisher at officers on the scene who were trying to keep the peace as a riot went on all around them. or the dozens and dozens of injuries sustained by police officers that day including capital'll police officer brian sicknick, who died subsequently. in fact, as "the new york times" reported, "the capitol assault resulted in one of the worst days of injuries for law enforcement in the u.s. since the september 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. at least 138 officers were injured." the man that tucker was essentially defending in that clip is the guy who showed up to the capitol in tactical gear with a taser, who picked up capitol police plastic zip tie handcuffs that according to prosecutors he understood to be, quote, instruments of restraint and kidnapping. that's why he was nicknamed zip tie guy. the u.s. district judge described him like this.
"by word and deed munchel has supported the violent overthrow of the united states government. he poses a clear danger to our republic." the dangers of whitewashing what happened on january 6th are why there are growing calls for a 9/11-style commission. because there's more we need to know. and now there's a new letter signed by more than 140 former senior national security, military and elected officials calling for just that kind of bipartisan commission. one of the signers of that letter, olivia troye, former adviser to vice president mike pence. former homeland security adviser. she joins me now along with hayes brown, msnbc columnist, editor of msnbc daily, who wrote that pro-trump whites afraid of being replaced attacked the capitol. that's a race riot. olivia, let me start with you about your involvement in this and what you sort of envision and why you think it's necessary. >> hi, chris. thanks for having me. well, so we wrote this letter because this is a group of national security officials both republican, democratic, across the political spectrum who are
watching the rise of these threats of white supremacy, violent extremists, or watching the rise of disinformation campaigns and illicit financing. and awful these events, all of these types of threats that are on the rise in the country led to the events of january 6th. and i think it's what happened at that day at the capitol was a massive national security failure and there are a lot of lessons to be learned here. and that's why we're calling for an independent commission to really review what happened that day, what went wrong, what needs to be fixed going forward because this is critical for us. this is a huge event. and similar to 9/11 a commission would really help us get to the bottom of it and really give us recommendations on moving forward as a national security community to prevent this from ever happening again. >> you know, hayes, i've seen a few folks on the right who kind of play this like apologizing but not apologizing role for what happened saying you know, these are just people who were left out of the modern economy and who just had questions and
no one wanted to listen to them as they're showing like b roll of them smashing through windows. i mean, there's the mlk line about the riot of the language of the unheard, which has now been like turned on its head for these folks. what do you make of that? >> so i will say i do think that they really believe that they feel like they are the unheard at this point. because i wrote that piece because of a new study that came out from political scientist robert pape in chicago who basically says that rather than being a bunch of people from where you would think, trump country, a number of the people who were at the insurrection are from areas where biden won. they're in areas where the non-white demographics have been changing, have been shifting. and because of that you really have to look at this from that lens. that lens of this great replacement conspiracy theory that's infected so many on the right that trump knowingly or unknowingly really supported during his time in office and really amplified. that's really a driving factor
here for a lot of these people. these are white people who are, you know, relatively well off but fear of losing their privileges. they fear that in other people getting rights they're going to be losing out on their privileges and because of that we got what we saw on january 6th. so it's really important that we don't let the republicans, the conservatives, the people at fox news kick that away, strip that away from the narrative of what happened here. these were people who were very concerned about issues of race. and we have to acknowledge that when we're talking about them. >> and also strikes me, olivia, that there's this real battle right now. we're three months after it, and you know, i've been a journalist now for about 20 years i guess, and some things are in the news cycle and then they're gone and forgotten and some things endure. and i think there's a battle right now over the place of this event. whether it will be forgotten. whether it will be just sort of memory hold or whether it will be remembered and we'll learn
from it. >> yeah, i think republican officials continue to lie to their constituents and voters across the country, the same people who enabled this event happening and this insurrection on january 6th. they don't get to do that. we're going to be here to remind them. remind them of what they're doing, the lies that they're feeding, because they are part of this entire disinformation campaign and situation that is fundamentally dangerous to our democracy. they can do all the whitewashing they want, but the fact of the matter is we all watched in horror what happened that day. there are people that have left even the trump administration who said enough, right? in the past. who said that crossed a line. and so these republicans who continue to kind of try to rewrite history here on what happened, we're going to need to remind them, and we'll be here to remind them of what happened because they need to be held accountable going forward. this is not okay. this is our democracy. our democracy is at stake here. >> olivia troye and hayes brown.
thank you both. appreciate it. still to come, breaking news about congressman matt gaetz with investigators now examining whether he traveled to the bahamas with women who were paid for sex. plus the new statement by donald trump that raises, well, more questions than it answers. the total denial after this. tal. [♪♪] life is busy, and sometimes odors can sneak up on you. for a convenient life hack. try febreze unstopables fabric refresher. with 2 times the scent power of regular febreze, unstopables fabric finds, neutralizes and eliminates tough odors trapped in hard-to-wash fabrics, like couches or smelly sports equipment; leaving an irresistibly fresh scent. and for a tropical burst of freshness, try new paradise scent. stop sneaky odors from lingering in your home, with febreze unstopables.
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another day, another crazy report about republican congressman matt gaetz. tonight nbc news setting a law enforcement report saying federal investigators are looking into his travel to the bahamas with women and specifically whether those women were paid to travel for sex, which could violate federal law. according to cbs news, gaetz allegedly traveled with, and i'm quoting here, a marijuana entrepreneur and hand surgeon named jason pirazzolo who allegedly paid for the travel expenses accommodations and female escorts. he did not respond to requests for comments. cbs news also reporting investigators want to know if gaetz was accepting paid escorts
in exchange for political access or legislative favors. gaetz denies he engaged in sex trafficking including with a 17-year-old girl who was reported to be part of the investigation. a spokesperson told cbs news representative gaetz has never paid for sex nor has he had sex with an underage girl. what began with blaring headlines about sex trafficking has now turned into a general fishing exercise about vacations and consensual relationships with adults. important to remember as these stories keep breaking matt gaetz is not some plucky young guy who made a name for himself on his own. he's the son of the former president of the florida senate, whose connections and deep pockets helped his son become a state senator and a member of congress. in 2008 gaetz was charged with dui after getting pulled over for speeding in his daddy's bmw. he refused a breathalyzer test and the charges were ultimately dropped. this is someone who's always coasted on his privilege, so it's no surprise he glomd on to another child of privilege whose dad opened doors for him, donald trump. gaetz's associates started being questioned by investigators last year, "the new york times"
reports gaetz so the a blanket pardon from trump, who he'd been loyal to for years. not clear how much gaetz knew about the investigation at the time. gaetz didn't get the pardon but after a long delay trump did come out today with a brief carefully worded statement claiming the congressman had never directly asked him for a pardon, adding that gaetz "has totally denied the accusations against him." totally denied. it's one of the most damning things donald trump can say bay person. i mean, remember roy moore the alabama theeocrat credibly accused of sexual misconduct with underage girls? moore denied those allegations but they likely cost republicans a senate seat and here's what trump said at the time. >> i mean, he denies it. he totally denies it. he says it didn't happen. and you know, you have to listen to him also. >> what about vladimir putin, who our intelligence agencies say meddled in u.s. elections to help trump? >> president putin, he just said it's not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it
would be. president putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. >> then there's saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman who a u.s. intel report says approved an operation to capture and kill journalist jamal khashoggi. >> the king firmly denied any knowledge of it. the denial was very strong. it wasn't like there was a question in his mind. the denial was very, very strong. the denial was not only a denial. it was a very firm denial. >> roy moore, gaetz, you know, mohammed bin salman, putin, they aw denied. case closed. with the latest on the gaetz saga i'm joined by oshld senltd nell columnist gabe maxwell. i wonder how this all plays in florida where gaetz and his father are extremely known entities. >> yeah, they are. back in florida don gaetz is pretty respected. matt gaetz is known as baby gaetz when he started to develop
a career thanks largely to his father. but most of it is par for the course. in fact, one of the things that i have been writing about lately is there's sort of this feigned shock and awe of pearl clutching among particularly republicans who seem to act like they're surprised by this stuff with matt gaetz. i don't know anything about the current accusations. they still have yet to play out. but there's plenty that has been absolutely proven about gaetz's behavior in the past that was widely open that we've written about for years. and folks down here didn't seem to care until now when it was a political liability. >> say more about that. what do you mean? >> well, just to give you one example, one of the reasons we followed gaetz here in orlando it wasn't sexy but because he was involved in asking florida's governor to stop orlando's airport bid with appointees who tried to mount a bid and hand out these no bid legal contracts. that may not sound like something your viewers probably care about but let me tell you something, that is orlando's swamp. and every one of your viewers in
every town in america, they have their own swamps. and while gaetz was up there screaming about draining the swamp in washington he was trying to pull the sludge here and in fact one of those board members he helped -- that he was buddies with appointed was the one you just mentioned at the top of the block who's being investigated for taking a flight to the bahamas with. and all of this stuff feeds together. there were lots of questions. there were investigations. but most of the time when matt got cornered he would start screaming about antifa or undocumented immigrants and it was red meat for the crowd that would usually end up supporting him again. >> i'm sorry, so clearly congressmen have all types of connections. you're talking about the marijuana entrepreneur and hand surgeon mr. pirazzolo? >> as a matter of fact, i have pulled up e-mails i had with dr. pirazzolo and matt gaetz just today from two years ago when i was trying to understand why matt gaetz, and i don't know that this has been widely reported, tried to make dr. pirazzolo florida's surgeon general even though his expertise seemed to be medical
marijuana at the time. that one didn't pan out. as a consolation prize he got to be a member of the orlando airport board and control about $2 billion worth of contracts. >> so this -- it's established, these guys have a relationship. there's some association between the two as just a matter of record. the question of the allegations themselves being distinct, what you're saying is there's a connection there. >> oh, there's definitely -- i can share my e-mails with you. i've swapped notes with both of them about this and they didn't deny that. and that's the -- a lot of this stuff has been open. the shock about the sex games talk, well, more than a year ago one of gaetz's former legislators came right out and accused and said gaetz created a sex game when he was in the legislature where young male legislators scored points based on how many people they could sleep with and the accusation was that they got fewer amounts of points for sleeping with lobbyists and the most for sleeping with, say, another married legislator. this has been out for a year.
matt voul was the legislator that said it. there's suddenly people who seem to be surprised and interested in it. but it's been reported down here for quite a while. >> scott maxwell with some fascinating context about the world of florida politics. always lots to learn about that state. thanks for sharing your reporting tonight. >> you bet. thanks, chris. still ahead, the grift continues. congresswoman katie porter on the republican fund-raising operation that scammed millions from their own supporters. plus we have an amazing update, amazing, on the fund-raising story that you do not want to miss. do not go anywhere. miss do not go anywhere gillette proglide. five blades and a pivoting flexball designed to get virtually every hair on the first stroke. so you're ready for the day with a fresh face for a fresh start. for a limited time get a 5th cartridge free.
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read through convoluted fine print and manually uncheck a box in order to avoid larger and repeating donations. by the month before the election people who did not read through this barrage of nonsense were committing to double their donation as well as make it a weekly recurring payment. in the end the trump campaign refunded $122 million in 2020. that's more than 10% of the total money it raised that year. well, what if i told you the scam was not limited to donald trump and that the republican party is still running this scam right now? the bulwark reports the national republican congressional committee, or nrcc, is currently running the same play, again with help from winred. when you make a donation to the nrcc, you are again confronted by two yellow prechecked boxes making the donation monthly recurring and doubling your donation in order to grant you trump patriot status. only now the language is much
more demanding, indeed? what psychotic. the first box reads in bold letters, "we need your help to draft trump for president. check this box if you want trump to run again. uncheck this box if you do not stand with trump." and then in regular type, "make this a monthly donation." the second reads, "trump patriot status missing. as a top grassroots supporter, we were surprised to see you abandoned him. this is your last chance to update your status to active." and then in regular type, "donate an additional x dollars automatically." then here's the worst one we've seen so far on the nrcc fund-raising page. this language is downright totalitarian. ready? "we need to know we haven't lost you to the radical left. if you uncheck this box, we will have to tell trump you're a defector and sided with the dems. check this box and we can win back the house and get trump to
run in 2024." if you uncheck the box, they're personally going to tell donald trump you're a defector. literally the message here. to keep the box checked we're going to just keep scraping your bank account every month. remember if you get to the point where you're reading these boxes, you have already committed to giving money to the republican party. but instead of thanking you the nrcc says they will tell dear leader personally you are a traitor unless you give more. so egregious and fraudulent that when we booked an election expert to talk about it earlier this week he said we needed to talk to someone who is an expert in consumer fraud. well, tonight we have that. congress's foremost expert coming up.
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after news broke the trump campaign had been scamming supporters out of millions of dollars by guiding online donors into weekly recurring contributions we invited election expert rick hossen on the show and he basically said because the scheme was so fraudulent, outside the boundaries of election law, we'd be better off having another expert on to talk about it.
>> when i was asked to be on your show i was thinking you actually should have katie porter on, my former uci colleague who's now in congress who's a consumer law expert. i mean, this is kind of -- if this were a commercial enterprise we'd be talking about the federal trade commission, these kinds of deceptive things, it's just like the worst kind of marketing whatsoever and it relies on people's inertia and confusion. and it preys on the people who are the least sophisticated. >> with the story back in the news today we figured we'd better talk to katie porter. congresswoman katie porter, democrat from california, joins me now. there's a lot i want to talk to you about, congresswoman, but you do have a specialty in consumer law, consumer protection. and i just -- i've never seen anything like this in the donate -- i mean, it's really scummy behavior. what do you think of this? >> we should definitely respect americans who are trying to participate in our democracy including by making donations. and i'll tell you, republican,
democrat, independent, i've never met an american who likes to feel cheated or scammed or taken advantage of. so i think the best practice here for campaigns of all types of both parties is to make very, very clear if people are being asked to make a recurring contribution, don't use that as a default setting, and be really honest with donors about what you're asking for and what they're going to be asked to pay. >> it's also sort of a fascinating case study, right? in like how you can use path of least resistance or opt-in versus opt out. or all these different ways. we know there's all kinds of ways commercial enterprises or banks or others use literally fine print to get people. and this is just like -- you couldn't design a better study for it. >> well, we've had to crack down repeatedly on this kind of requirement that consumers opt out of things. it's been a big issue. it's still an ongoing issue for a lot of businesses. and the framework we use to
analyze this if this were a commercial enterprise is is this an unfair or deceptive practice? and the touchstone for that is consumer confusion. i think here the very, very high refund rate we're seeing, which is many, many multiples for the trump campaign versus the biden campaign, is one piece of evidence we can use to conclude that people didn't understand that this is what they were signing up for. >> so there's a big fight happening right now in congress about this infrastructure bill. it's happening in different ways. one of the ways it is is on the pay fors as they say in washington, d.c., which is how the revenue will be raised. and there's a proposal to raise the corporate tax rate. i want to play you what the president said about that today and get your reaction, particularly because you come from a swing district, you come from the heart of ancestrally the tax revolt in orange county that launched 30 years of a certain kind of politics. so take a listen to what he had to say. >> i hear anybody hollering in
this recovery before i became president this k-shaped recovery where billionaires made 300 billion more dollars during this period. where's the outrage there? i'm not trying to punish anybody. but damn it, maybe it's because i come from a middle-class neighborhood. i'm sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced. >> what are the politics like in your district, your constituents, on raising taxes? >> well, let's be clear. what we're trying to do is make the investments that our country needs to grow our economy. and that is in the interest of corporations, to have a strong economy. they need roads. they need bridges. they need an educated trained workforce. they need a workforce that's drinking clean water, for example, that has broadband. and that's exactly what they're being asked to pay for here. the president's proposal, which i strongly support, is to simply
revert the corporate income tax rate to what it was before donald trump's disastrous presidency. this is a simple proposal. it's to simply go back to that 28% rate, which by the way would still be the lowest rate of taxation on corporations since before world war ii. >> yeah. you've also talked about the importance of sort of care, care infrastructure. there's a weird thing happening right now with this i think silly disingenuous semantic debate about like what's infrastructure and what's not as if infrastructure's a magic word and if it's infrastructure then it's good and if it's not it's bad. which you know, some things are good and bad on their own. but senator marsha blackburn was talking about like $400 billion for elder care, this is outrageous. and i think a lot of people saw that and thought, money for elder care sounds good. what is your view on the importance of care in this general package of investments? >> well, the way we ought to be thinking is not does it meet
somebody's definition of infrastructure, which is we talked about is a changing term. but really we should be asking ourselves is this an investment that will grow our economy. and be clear, making sure families can afford child care, making sure that people have broadband access, making sure that schools don't have lead pipes, making sure that people can leave their seniors or their disabled family members in safe high-quality care so that they can go to work is about growing our economy. the reality is the united states of america has never made the investment in families that our competitor nations have done and it's holding us back economically. so that's what this plan is about. not about somebody's ever-changing definition about what is and is not infrastructure. the touchstone for me is is this an investment that will grow our economy? if it is we ought to be doing it. if it's not, we ought to be questioning it. >> my definition is it has to have a pipe. if you want to do elder care,
you've got to carry a pipe. it's very simple. congresswoman katie porter, thanks for making time tonight. that is "all in" on this wednesday night. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. thank you, my friend. much appreciated. and thanks to you thanks to you at home for joining us. we start on the republican side of politics and politics in the news where things are a little bit of a three-ring circus right now. it is starting to seem like the circus tent could come down in the wind. starting in georgia tonight, the national bull's-eye, the focus of so much anger and controversy and new restrictions on voting rights. today in a surprise, georgia's republican lieutenant governor admitted what critics of the law alleged from the beginning which is the impetus for the new draconian voting restrictions in georgia, the impetus for it was the set of lies told by president trump. and on behalf of president trump